Violinist to play 300-year-old Stradivarius at Wortham Theater

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HOUSTON, TX – What do you do with 300-year-old Stradivarius violins? Most people might expect to see them in a museum under glass. But Hungarian musician Edvin Marton has played them on the ice at the Olympics, on the Great Wall of China and even on the beaches in Malibu, California in his latest music video.

Now with Houston’s Brilliant Lecture Series, he’s bringing his Stradivarius Show to the Wortham Theater Friday, September 20th.

Stradivarius violins are often called the Ferraris of musical instruments. Only about 700 still exist today. The one Marton will play, on loan from a Swiss bank, is worth millions. We wondered if he ever gets nervous about that.

“I’m always a little bit nervous, of course, before every performance,” explains the 39-year-old virtuoso, “but it’s in general because I want to make people happy.”

And that he’s done, selling more than five million albums worldwide (mostly in Europe and Asia). He’s been called a ‘showman extraordinaire’ by Cirque du Soleil– and those guys freaking know showmanship!

So don’t expect a stuffy night at the symphony. Edvin’s performance is as much about “show” as it is about virtuoso playing. And it’s more than just one extraordinary violin. It’s a combination of classical instruments and modern ones often set to “unce-unce” beats.

“With fusion, I’m creating a new music,” says Edvin, “a new feeling the people of the 21st century can enjoy.”

All this started for Marton when he was just five, “I fell in love in kindergarten with a girl, and I wanted to impress her. I asked my mom, ‘What should I do? How can I impress her?’… She said I should play a serenade. I said, ‘What is a serenade?’ She said it’s a love song you play for a lady if love her. I said, ‘How can I do that?’ She said, ‘I give you the violin and you play it.'” This was probably all a ploy to convince the kid to play, seeing as everyone in their family was musical.

After a year’s practice, Edvin played at the girl’s birthday and got a kiss. He’s been hooked ever since.

Check out the Stradivarius Show September 20th, and you just might be, too!